In March, 2013, a medical research team led by K.J. Meador published an article in Lancet Neurology titled “Fetal antiepileptic drug exposure and cognitive outcomes at age 6 years (NEAD study): a prospective observational study.”. This team from Emory University (Atlanta) aimed to “We aimed to assess effects of commonly used antiepileptic drugs on cognitive outcomes in children up to 6 years of age.” I ought to note that over the last ten years, dozens of studies have illuminated the fact that prenatal exposure to drugs containing sodium valproate (Depacon, Depakote, Depakene, and others) causes birth defects.
Meador: “In this prospective, observational, assessor-masked, multicentre study, we enrolled pregnant women with epilepsy on antiepileptic drug monotherapy (carbamazepine, lamotrigine, phenytoin, or valproate) between October, 1999, and February, 2004, at 25 epilepsy centres in the UK and the USA.”
In all, just over 300 mother-child pairs were studied, of which 224 children completed all six years of follow-up. It After statistical analysis, it was found that “children showed that age-6 IQ was lower after exposure to valproate (mean 97, 95% CI 94-101) than to carbamazepine (105, 102-108; p=0·0015), lamotrigine (108, 105-110; p=0·0003), or phenytoin (108, 104-112; p=0·0006).”
Also, the team determined that “Children exposed to valproate did poorly on measures of verbal and memory abilities compared with those exposed to the other antiepileptic drugs and on non-verbal and executive functions compared with lamotrigine (but not carbamazepine or phenytoin). High doses of valproate were negatively associated with IQ (r=-0·56, p<0·0001), verbal ability (r=-0·40, p=0·0045), non-verbal ability (r=-0·42, p=0·0028), memory (r=-0·30, p=0·0434), and executive function (r=-0·42, p=0·0004), but other antiepileptic drugs were not.”
This means that the more valproate to which a child was exposed in utero, the lower IQ, memory, executive function, verbal ability, and non-verbal ability were found to be.
As such, Meador et al. (2013) concluded that “Fetal valproate exposure has dose-dependent associations with reduced cognitive abilities across a range of domains at 6 years of age.” (emphasis added)
Since the manufacturer of Depacon and other valproate-containing drugs, Abbott Laboratories, has failed time and again to warn women of these risks, thousands of Depacon birth defect lawsuits are currently being filed around the world.
If you or a loved one used Depacon, Depakote, or Depakene during pregnancy and your child was born with a congenital malformation or had perinatal complications, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. For a free, no-obligation case consultation, contact our team of Depacon birth defect lawyers at the information provided below. We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve. Call today and see how we can help.
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